Ultra low carbon vehicle project announcement welcomed by industry

23 June 2009 #SMMT News

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), welcomes the news that £25 million in government funding has been allocated to the winners of the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator competition.


The successful bids bring together car manufacturers, power companies, Regional Development Agencies, councils and academic institutions and will operate across eight UK locations to deliver low carbon vehicles to consumers.


The winning consortia are:

·         Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators (CABLED)

·         Electric Vehicle Accelerated Development in the North East (EVADINE)

·         Ford Focus Battery Electric Vehicle

·         London South East Bid

·         MINI E Research Project

·         The Allied Vehicles Project

·         PHV – Paving the way to full commercialisation of plug-in hybrid vehicles

·         EEMS Accelerate


Highlighting the future direction of the UK, each will achieve a share of £25 million in funding as part of an ongoing commitment to accelerate the introduction of low carbon vehicles. The programme will provide incentives to develop and demonstrate new technologies in the UK and aims to help deliver the government’s target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.


“Ultra low carbon vehicles are now mainstream business for the UK motor industry and the TSB’s competition provides the ideal incentive to develop and demonstrate new technologies,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “The collaborative nature of this project enhances the recommendations laid out by NAIGT and marks the beginning of an important new phase for the UK motor industry.”


The competition was created by the TSB to act as a catalyst for industry, the public sector and academia to come together to create low emission vehicles and innovative technologies for powering them.  It is the biggest project of its kind to date and shows real technology that will be available in the next six to 18 months.



1. Winning consortia details:

·          Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators (CABLED) – The consortium is made up of 13 organisations led by Arup and includes Advantage West Midlands,  Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi/Colt, Mercedes-Benz/smart, Tata Motors, LTI and Microcab industries, E.ON and three Midland’s universities.

·          Electric Vehicle Accelerated Development in the North East (EVADINE) The consortium consists of Nissan, Smith Electric Vehicles in partnership with LTI, AVID Vehicles, Liberty Electric Cars, Newcastle University and One North East.  Newcastle University’s Transport Operations Research Group will monitor and model the performance and use of the vehicles.

·          Ford Focus Battery Electric Vehicle – The consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University will provide prototype vehicles and a charging infrastructure in and around Hillingdon, Middlesex during 2010.

·          London South East Bid Since 2007 smart has been trialling 100 smart electric cars with partner companies across the country. Additional cars will be brought to the UK in early 2010 when smart will be carrying out an important trial with the support of the Technology Strategy Board. Individuals can apply to participate in these “žsmart electric drive” research trials across the London South East and West Midlands regions.  smart will work with a number of partner organisations including, EDF Energy, Elektromomitve, Greater London Authority, and Westminster City Council.

·          MINI E Research Project – In addition to BMW Group, the consortium is includes Scottish and Southern Energy, responsible for providing the infrastructure in and around Oxford and the South-East of England by installing the private and public charging points; and Oxford Brookes University’s Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre will be responsible for undertaking scientific data analysis, as well as conducting customer surveys to capture the subjective feedback from users of the MINI E test vehicles.

·          The Allied Vehicles Project – The Allied Vehicles Project aims to design, test and bring to production 40 battery electric cars by October 2009, via partners Allied Vehicles, Glasgow City Council, ScottishPower, Axeon and Strathclyde University.

·          PHV – Paving the way to full commercialisation of plug-in hybrid vehicles – Toyota, with partner EDF Energy, intends to lease up to 20 plug-in hybrid vehicles to existing Toyota Prius fleet customers including a mix of public bodies and private companies. The trials will start in mid 2010, predominately within London for a period of three years.

·          EEMS Accelerate – The ‘EEMS Accelerate’ project will put 21 cutting edge high specification electric sports cars on the road for 12 months. AEA, an energy, climate change and data management consultancy, will lead the consortium. The electric vehicles will be produced by four UK automotive partners, Delta Motorsport, Ecotricity cars, Westfield Sports cars and Lightning Car Company.


2. NAIGT – New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team was set up in early 2008 by government’s Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) with the backing of senior representatives of the UK motor industry. It aimed to identify new measures for industry and government to promote continued investment and improved productivity and competitiveness in UK automotive. The report, ‘A 20 Year Vision for the UK Automotive Industry’, sets out the findings from the NAIGT’s 12-month investigation into the strengths and weaknesses of the UK motor industry and makes its recommendations for maximising long-term growth.


3. At €20 bn, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest investor in R&D, driving industry forward and helping deliver more sustainable motoring for the 21st century. Technological innovation has helped car and CV manufacturers slash CO2 and air quality emissions from vehicles. New diesel cars for example emit 95% less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago and average new car CO2 has been cut by 19% since 1997. The energy needed to produce each vehicle is down 12%, water use is down 9% and waste to landfill is down 25%, compared to 2006 performance.  CO2 emissions per vehicle produced have fallen 14% in the last year and by 45% since 1999. Almost 10,000 tonnes of waste have been prevented from entering landfill sites. For more details, download SMMT’s ninth annual Sustainability Report from the SMMT website


4. Why is the automotive sector important to the UK economy?

·          27 car and CV manufacturers operating in the U producing 1.7 million vehicles

·          £51b turnover and £9.5 billion value added

·          Over 800,000 UK jobs

·          UK automotive manufacturing supplies over 100 markets worldwide, offering some resilience to UK issues

·          New cars emit less CO2 than older models – average new car CO2 emissions have fallen 19% in the last decade

For more information on the UK motor industry, visit or

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